The Bat

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Reva Smilansky From her 1933 high school yearbook.

(September 18, 1913 – June 21, 1990)[1]

Riva Smiley (née Reva Levey Smilansky), whom Bob Tucker unkindly nicknamedThe Bat,” was a longtime Midwestern fan from Detroit. She was a regular attendee at Midwestcon and Octocon, into the 1970s, even though Lou Tabakow tried to keep her from finding out about the latter.

She was a small, wizened woman, but the men were afraid of her. Hal Shapiro, in TLMA 6 (October 1952, p. 6), wrote: “Being a Detroiter myself, I hate to say it, but the Michigan Science Fantasy Society has got two fuggheads, Bennet Sims and Riva Similanski.”

From Fancyclopedia 2, ca. 1959
(Tucker) Nickname tacked onto Riva Smiley, prominent Detroit fan, at the Nolacon. She had insisted on playing in Tucker poker games despite the fact that her presence was not desired; the name first appeared in SF NEWSLETTER shortly after the fans got home from New Orleans. As a poker player, incidentally, she's pretty good.


  1. Reva Levey Smilansky at Find a Grave

Person 19131990
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